Photographer's Note

Adventure of crazy traveller

I had planned to go to Baku for quite a long time but I waited for the good offer. When I saw the return flight tickets to Kutaisi for 70 euro I decided at once. Kutaisi is in Georgia, 800 km from Baku, but what a problem? From the Kutaisi airport now there are comfortable Georgian Buses to Batumi and Tbilisi for 20 lari. The timtable just matches the arrivals and departures of flight. I went by this bus but get off in Gori. In the afternoon I had enough time to climb the fortress, to see Stalin and some other nice places. I planned to see next day Uplistsikhe cave town, then to go to Tbilisi and in the evening by night train to Baku. Early in the morning, I came to the bus station to catch the bus or marshrutka. But the taxi driver saw me and started to convinced me that it would be better to go with him by taxi (20 lari). "I will go there with you, I will wait how long you need and then we'll come back". Marshrutkas need time to fill up, time is precious for me so I agreed. When we came to Uplistsikhe, it was still closed. So the driver again:"why should you wait here and loose time? There is a beautiful church from 7th century, we will go there and then come back" (additional 20 lari). Well, the church in Ateni Sioni from 7th Century sounded tempting. So I agreed. The road through the mountain was very beautiful. On the way we stopped for photos, there were nice fields of poppies, the driver collected some for me. From Ateni we returned to U. and then to Gori. On the way the driver again:" If you want to go to Tbilisi, I will take you there. On the way we will stop in Mtskheta and in Jvari, then we will go to Tbilisi." "How much?" 100 lari all. I was in such a good mood that agreed again. We went to the railway station to buy the ticket, then to the hostel for my things. I visited Mtskheta and Jvari without any effort, in Tbilisi I had enough time for a supper and a walk, then I went by sleeping train (55 lari) and in the morning I was in Baku. It was a nice day, Easy and comfortable!
The whole way by taxi was 170 km. 100 lari = 31 euro.

The Ateni Sioni Church is an early 7th-century Georgian Orthodox church in the village of Ateni, some 10 km south of the city of Gori, Georgia. It stands in a setting of the Tana River valley known not only for its historical monuments but also for its picturesque landscapes and wine. The name "Sioni" derives from Mount Zion at Jerusalem. The walls of the church contain the earliest known inscriptions in Nuskhuri or Nuskha-Khutsuri, one of the versions of the early Georgian alphabet, dating from 835. The earliest known examples of Mkhedruli, a currently used Georgian script, are also found in the Ateni Sioni church and date to the 980s. One of the inscriptions on the church commemorates Adarnase I of Tao-Klarjeti, the first documented Georgian Bagratid nobleman who was the father of Ashot I, the founder of the new royal line of Georgia. (Wikipedia)

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In the mountains

Poppies

On the map

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11541 W: 123 N: 29366] (138462)
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